Archive for December, 2006


Ok, so I think my family may find this now that I posted Grandmas obituary. I noticed someone googled my sister beth and it came to this site. Now I better watch what I say, hehe. I guess I better reread my posts since this was the year of sharing my thoughts. Bummer. why didn’t I think things through? Talk about a lemon squeeze, I may get one.

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Apparently I am the bad sister.
Yes, she did say that we weren’t invited because of the children but apparently, a couple days later, sent an email saying we are welcome if we wanted to come.
I kept it all inside, like usual (and here but my family doesn’t read this so they have no clue.) Well, except that I told one sister which means everyone knows oh, and that lemon squeeze email.  So  much for keeping it inside, huh?!
So, I’m going with bells on. I am a little embarrassed at how I took it. If Josh wasn’t going to Iraq in the infantry for a year I probably wouldn’t have done it. Yeah, at least that is what I will tell myself.
So, I guess my new years resolution will be not to be self centered.

update we had a wonderful time.  Loads of laughs and everything was fine.  I don’t know why I worried about things.  but, we were the first ones there (on time, not early) and the others did not get there for an HOUR!  Man, were we hungry but glad we got more private time with Josh.

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all these dinners

I am getting used to the idea of going out with my husband more.  Actually, I like it.  Last night we had a business party at a local restaurant.  It was in the bar area.  They put great food (pizza, ziti, wings, etc.) out on the bar and it was free booze.  I learned my lesson last time and got a glass of red wine.  I don’t like red wine so I figured I would not be tempted to get more (and more and more).
At first it was a little bit awkward for me because it was nothing like the Christmas Ball.  That was more of a social thing where no one was doing business because they were all with the same company.  Last night had people from various businesses passing out business cards and talking shop.  I think I was the only spouse there.  It was interesting to watch how people who have no idea who the other person is just go mingle.  I’m not very good at that but after watching a few people I pushed myself a little more.  There was one time when Jeff was talking to someone and I was just standing there.  It was not for long because this nice man invited me to sit at his table.  Not knowing anything about any of the people there I welcomed the comfort of sitting at a table with someone and took him up on the invite.  After all, how hard is it to talk to two older men, one about 70 and the other in his 50’s?  They were talking about the food so I offered to get them something.  THat’s what I do to feel comfortable and since it didn’t look like they wanted to move I think they welcomed me as much as I welcomed them.  Over a huge plate of hot wings, I learned the one who invited me over was the partner of the lawyer who invited us.  Jeff went to school with the one so I knew him but I never met the other.  The older man was an architect who had a couple huge projects going on.   It was all very interesting.  It did get a little awkward when they asked what I did and I said that I was a mom.  With all the lawyers, mortgage people, business owners, etc.  I’ll bet they never hear of my profession.  It wasn’t that I was ashamed, I just knew it was unusual.  They were cool with it.  So, after the architect talked awhile  about all his building plans he asked what Jeff did.  I mentioned he was a banker and the guy was very interested as he is looking for one.  I hope something comes out of it because I will feel like I helped a little but if not, I’ll chalk it up to experience and will do more schmoozing next time.  Live and learn, right?
Once the architect left Jeff and another woman who knew the lawyer joined us and we had a very nice evening at our little table while most of the other people there got drunk.

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Shannon, who is so wonderful, from Rocks in my dryer had this on her site.  It is for a great cause so I linked to it too.  I’m so lazy I just cut and pasted her write up (hope you don’t mind, Shannon) so if the links don’t work, go here.  So, two readers of mine, go do your good deed for the day.

Kelly at Pass the Torch has a corporate sponsor who has agreed to donate $1 (up to $500) to the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital for every comment she receives on this post.  So go, leave a comment!  At the time I’m writing this, she only has 132 comments.

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Today you turn 8

Yes, you heard that correctly. Eight years old. Dad and I can hardly believe it! It seems like yesterday I was carrying you in my belly and we were breaking the rules together. You were our first. I worked till I was 8 months pregnant. I could have done more but there was too much going on and I was nervous. Dad and I wanted me to stay home with you once you were born but it was so expensive in Northern Virginia. At the time dad’s paycheck did not even pay the whole mortgage let alone food and utilities and diapers! He was so sure of our plan that he interviewed not only for the next level of his current job but also in different departments. I remember he even left our annual beach vacation to fly out to CA for an interview. We’d pray for you and for our money situation. Even though I knew I would be at home, I couldn’t let go of the little stability we had so instead of telling my principal that I wouldn’t be back, I said I might. He knew I wouldn’t be back just as much as I knew I wouldn’t be back.
Daddy got a job as a district manager but it was in New England. We never lived further than an hour or two from our families and now we were moving 8 – 11 hours away. You’d think we’d be frantic but there was a peace about it. We put our house on the market, Dad went and found us another house in Manchester, NH, I told my boss and started packing up my classroom and fixing up our house. I painted and carried way more than I was allowed. I figured you were coming when you were coming no matter what I did so I might as well take care of the things that needed done.
We learned that babies needed to be one month old before they could fly on a plane. That was a biggie because you were due in Jan and we needed you to come Dec 29th at the latest so we could fly to NH on Jan 29th. Dec 29th came and we had an appointment in the morning. The nurse stripped my membranes and said that should do the trick. In the afternoon I felt different but it wasn’t till about 2 or 3 that daddy looked at me and said let’s go. We hopped in the car and stopped at the bank (we had to close our accounts). Daddy was so excited he was rubbing his hands together in anticipation. Then we had to drop Carly dog off at the Terryberry’s house so dad could stay or go as he pleased. Then, we went to the doctors office. Dad went right in the door and said in a super loud voice, something like, “I’m Jeff Fraley and my wife is having our baby.” They took a look and sent us right over to the hospital. We checked in about 4 and they hooked me up to all the monitors. Things were looking good and I wasn’t in too much pain. Dad went to get dinner (roast beef sandwich) in the cafe and then came back with stinky breath. I didn’t mind till I started contractions. I am sure he’ll tell you more.
When you were born, dad didn’t know what to do. He wanted to go with you but also wanted to stay with me. I asked him to go with you and video everything.
You were such a wonderful baby. I remember people looking at our house and you’d be sleeping in your bassinet. They’d stop to admire you.  I remember having to run the vacuum cleaner and you’d sleep right through it.
We took our first plane ride together. Just us.  Dad and Carly drove. We saw our new house for the first time together and spent 10 days alone in it as dad had to go to NYC as soon as we arrived. I didn’t want to put you down and was so thankful that daddy wanted me to stay home as much as I wanted to. I am thankful that God showed us a way to make it a reality. I’m thankful that we were willing to do without a lot of things so we could love on you constantly. I’m thankful dad is such a hard worker. God has blessed us greatly by adding you to our family. We loved you so much that day but we love you even more today. Tomorrow, we’ll love you a little more. Connor, you were given to us by God after we prayed for you. You were sent to us specifically as were your brothers. You were meant to be a Fraley and we are so thankful. I could not have picked a better son even if I was allowed to try. You are exactly who we want as our oldest child. Thanks for being you!! We’ll love you no matter what so don’t hide things from us.
Happy birthday, son. Slow down a little, ok? We can’t believe it’s been 8 years already!!

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Lunch with Josh

When we were in Pittsburgh, Jeff came home a day early to pick the boys up from his folks (good thing too because they were naughty!) Anyway, my nephews wanted to come home too so Jeff brought them too. My 16 year old nephew is the typical 16 year old boy. He talks to us when we talk to him but if there is a way to be away from us and with his friends, he’ll find the way. Jeff and my 19 year old nephew who is home for three weeks before being sent off to Iraq (insert tears and worry) had a good religious conversation the whole way. Jeff said he gave opinions when asked and listened to Josh’s ideas and thoughts. You all know how it is. When you leave your parents church and make it your own. That is what he is going through at the moment and it is not so easy.  So, Jeff invited him up for lunch so we could spend more time with him. It was fun. The boys had him playing crazy for much of the 4 or so hours he was here. Man, he’s strong too. He was flipping Evan around like he was weightless. He has a week or so left but I am thinking this may have been the last time we see him unless we skip a morning or afternoon of school to go visit. My sister is having another family party but she’s inviting a few of the extended family and didn’t want to invite me or my other sis because she didn’t want kids running around everywhere. When she was telling me I think she let it slip because when I said how that sounded like fun that is when she said she only invited Beth (my other sister with older kids) because she sounded interested too. She said “I hope that isn’t rude.” Instead of saying “um, it is.” I said, “it’s your party, you get to invite whomever.” It was a little funny when Josh said “see you” and I had to tell him we were not invited. He just gave a confused look. He should be used to strange decisions. I am. No problemo, we’ll hopefully squeeze in another visit sometime next week. He’s worth a half day off school.

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to the bowling alley…

If you list your phone number in the local phone book, we patrons expect you to answer when we call.  My son is insisting on having a bowling party this week and you are not making it easy on me.  It’s already last minute but do you really think I can expect my neighbors to come to Connor’s party the very next day.  Be reasonable.  answer that phone and discuss dates and options with me!

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Grandma’s Obituary

Yeah, my last post didn’t do her justice. She was amazing!!! I would like to know how she managed her time because if you read this, you wouldn’t think she’d be a great mother but, she was the best mom. Well, second best, my mom’s the best!!


R.th H.lland E.ckrt, 95, a resident of Crafton for more than 80 years, died Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2006, in Country Meadows Nursing Center, Bridgeville. She was born March 19, 1911, to the late H.rman and A.gns (M.cCutcheon) H.lland and also was predeceased by her beloved husband, Dr. L.wrence R. E.cert, a prominent dentist in downtown Pit.burgh, who died in 1948, and her eldest son, L.wrence R.ndolph E.ckrt Jr., who died in 2002. Ruth was president of the Crfton Civic Club in 1955 and chairwoman of the Civic Light Opera opening night for the Allegheny County Federation of Women’s Clubs when it took over the entire Pitt Stadium. In 1962, Ruth became president of the Allegheny County Federation of 250 women’s clubs. Her projects were the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children and promoting Pap tests, having more than 1,500 women a year participate. She received the Benjamin Rush Award, its highest honor, from the Allegheny County Medical society for the most outstanding public service given by any organization. Ruth stressed the wearing of hats and gloves to all meetings to make them more formal. In 1964, the Millinery Institute of America named her one of the best-hatted women in America. In 1963, she received the runner-up award for Pennsylvania Mother of the Year. In 1966, Ruth was chairwomen of the state convention of the Federation of Women’s Clubs, with 1,500 delegates, and in 1968 was state chairwoman of a two-year Community Improvement Program for 800 clubs. In 1969, Ruth became president of the Women’s City Club. She also was a member of the National Association of Parliamentarians and a vice president of one of its units. Starting in 1969 as a director on the state board, Ruth was an active volunteer with the American Cancer Society for 28 years. She served as president of the Allegheny County unit, the second woman to hold that top position. As president, she had charge of the cancer studies of 1 million men and women nationwide concerning lifestyle-causing cancer. She was on its Allegheny County Cancer Board and for more than 20 years on its Pennsylvania board of directors. She was elected to the executive committee of the Pennsylvania board and as chairwoman of its bylaws committee revised the bylaws and standards of all of its 80 county units. Ruth was honored with the American Cancer Society’s Golden Sword Award, the highest award given on the county level; the Sword of Hope Award, the highest personal honor for meritorious service at the state level, and the Bronze Medal, the highest state honor for volunteerism. Besides her civic and charitable accomplishments, Ruth was a devoted mother and grandmother.

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Goodbye Grandma Ruth

Everyone says they have the best grandmother.  I really did.  She loved her whole family and showed it in so many ways.  Her home was the hub of all her four children and their families.  We celebrated holidays there as well as visits during the days.  She lived about 30 minutes from our home in Bethel Park.  We’d have landmarks on how close it was to get to her house.  There was this huge hill that had a t-shirt or some kind of fabric on it.  We’d always have to check to see if it was still there when we passed.  It always was.  Then, as we got into Crafton, many of the roads were brick.  We loved that because we knew we were minutes away.  There was this street that was lined with overgrown bushes.  When we took our dog, Lucky, she’d hang her head out the whole way through.  When Lucky wasn’t there, the sister who was in the passenger seat would roll down the window and stick her hand out trying to grab as many leaves as she could.  Man, did we all want to be in the passenger seat when we went to Grandmas.
She’d always have candy and food on her buffet.  It was full of chocolate and other GOOD candy.  You know what I mean, the candy bin at our house, is full of all the stuff I won’t eat that, thankfully, the boys like.  Grandma only had the best like ho hos and chocolate candy bars.  Not only did she have her buffet full, she’d have each of our favorite foods along with any sugary or snacky treat that said “NEW” on the tag.

We’d have holidays at grandmas.  She was so busy in the kitchen preparing for us that she did not even set herself a place setting.  No matter how many I cook for, I still sit and eat.

She’s do anything for you too.  Once my sister got the Lenny and the Squigtones (from Laverne and Shirley) record for Christmas.  I had asked for it too but I didn’t get it.  Mom said I was just going to share Ruth’s.  I must have had a fit (please remember I was very young) so she went out and got me one too.  ONE record of Lenny and Squiggy is plenty for one house!

When grandma came to visit Jeff and I at our first house in Lakeridge, she enjoyed sitting on the deck outback straining her neck to look at the water.  That same trip there was the biggest spider my mom and I ever saw.  Mom said it has thighs as we quickly stepped back.  Grandma went up to the spider and squashed it with her cane.  No hesitations.

She was president of the American Cancer Society and a bunch of other things.  I think this Friday will be very informative for me.  Even though I knew her, I know there was so much to her.  She was the strongest woman I know.
I’m glad mom and uncle Charles were with you when you took your last breath, Grandma.  I’m glad that you got to hear Uncle Charles reading you your notes from your Alaska trip the day before you passed.  I’m glad you waited for mom to get by your side till you took your last breath.  I’ll bet it was peaceful for you because your son was holding your hand and your daughter was rubbing your head and you were in no pain.  We’ll miss you, grandma, but I know you didn’t want to live the way you were living at Country Meadows.  You were always on the go so it must have been hard just laying in bed waiting for Jesus.  I hope you found papa as soon as you got to heaven.  It must be nice being with your husband after being separated from him for over 60 years.  You taught us a lot and I am so thankful to have been part of your life.  I love you!

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